Musings of a Career Consultant

SoCal Texan in Bmore Leading Rock Stars

Ugh! Carmageddon is upon us! July 15, 2011

I have been grumbling for weeks about the hoopla of Carmageddon but my grumbling turned to sheer frustration when I heard Brian Williams talk about it on NBC Nightly News! Then Billy Bush on Access Hollywood and Mario Lopez on Extra and so on and so forth. To top it off? JetBlue had a $4 Fly-over sale. A friend of mine (knowing my love of travel and JetBlue) jokingly asked if I bought a ticket BUT I couldn’t if I wanted to because they had all sold out in less than 3 hours.

I love all these guys and JetBlue so I won’t blame them for jumping on the hoopla bandwagon but let me just say… it’s a freeway, people! One! And, it’ll be closed for 2 days… on the weekend. Either get the heck out-of-town or stay home but please do not complain about the madness. It’s 2 days! 2 days of your life that are weird or annoying. Buy your groceries, stock up on your wine (BevMo still has their 5 cent sale going on) and enjoy the luxury of your backyard, your friends or your couch.

Please, Monday… hurry the heck up!

Should you have any questions about anything you’ve read here or if you’re interested in any city in Southern California (particularly the San Gabriel Valley or Inland Empire), please feel free to call your favorite REALTOR Smile

And, I can always send you a FREE Market Analysis on your home, just ask.

 

I was on the radio… Again! :) July 5, 2011

I love doing these radio shows for the Real Cents Radio Network on KTIE 590 in San Bernardino County! It’s so awesome to send out so much good information! We talked about “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” in today’s real estate market. I just wanted to jot down a few of my thoughts should you have missed the show:

The Good? Affordability is at an all-time high. Home prices have declined month over month since July ’06 and rents have increased month over month since then. Also, interest rates are super low (even though they’ve started a small creep that will turn into a steady walk by the fall). And, with 35% of Buyers being 1st-timers, it’s good to know you’re not the minority!

The Bad? Last year’s appreciation is gone. Real prices are still high in some areas and condo sales decreased 8% last month but I know we’ll post a bigger decrease  due to the expiration of FHA Approval on a lot of complexes. We’re at 2000 prices per Case-Shiller and the higher end could still see a hit as we roll into the 2nd half of the year.

The Ugly? The percentage of homeowners that are underwater has stayed the same since the 1st quarter of ’09. What’s that mean? Even with all of the REO and Short Sale homes that have been bought up, we’re still seeing a steady stream feeding the market i.e. we’re not done yet. (Personal opinion: We won’t be for another 3 years.) Experts think it could take us 5-6 years to fully pull out of this. Inflation will then happen at a slow 2% and unemployment will remain high (which is why our recovery will be so slow).

What can you do to help me help you? Click this link and take a few seconds to fill this in and fight for your right to Affordable Mortgages. The government is considering making the minimum down payment 20% which would cripple our already fragile housing market (especially in areas like SoCal). They’re also talking about pulling out of the mortgage market. Privatization wouldn’t be good for anyone involved.

Should you have any questions about anything you’ve read here or if you’re interested in any city in Southern California (particularly the San Gabriel Valley or Inland Empire), please feel free to call your favorite REALTOR Smile

And, I can always send you a FREE Market Analysis on your home, just ask.

 

Wait. Every Californian needs a Carbon Monoxide Detector? June 27, 2011

That’s right. Every home. This is not a dreaded POS (point of sale) law. (Ask me another time why I dislike POS so greatly.) This is for any and every CA house (yep, that means rentals, too). A little Q&A:

When does it need to be in? July 1st on single family homes up to 4 units and January 1, 2013 for everyone else.

How many need to be in? And where? This is the best question. Best answer? Call your city. Why? Because if city law is more stringent than state law then the city law overrides the state law. Most early guesses from months ago said you’d only need one. Now, we’re thinking you should treat them like smoke detectors (one per bedroom). Some interpretations say you can have a combined one in each room and some say outside of each room. Why do I “think” rather than “know”? Because the lovely law isn’t specific enough. So, best advice is to call your city and ask them. If they don’t know, treat them like smoke detectors or get the combined one and install that where all your smoke detectors once were.

Seriously, who’s going to know? Good question. I don’t know but if they find you don’t have one, you’ll be given a written 30-day notice to comply and then will be fined up to $200 per infraction.

Can I, as a Buyer, back out if they don’t have them? Not quite. But you can sue for $100 (yep, that’s all) and court costs. Easier choice? You should probably just shell out for them and call it a day. Want to be real sneaky and get them to pay for it? I might have an idea but it’s only given on a need-to-know basis.

Will my Landlord have to install these? What if they stop working? They have to put them in but guess who has to keep them up? Yep, you. If you don’t notify your Landlord that they go out, you can’t come after them for not working. Makes you want to put “Check detectors” as a monthly reminder, huh?

This is not sufficient. I have more questions. Where do I get it? Just let me know. This is not all the information I have about this. And, I’d be happy to help you navigate with your specific city.

Should you have any questions about anything you’ve read here or if you’re interested in any city in Southern California (particularly the San Gabriel Valley or Inland Empire), please feel free to call your favorite REALTOR Smile

And, I can always send you a FREE Market Analysis on your home, just ask.

 

What Should You Know That You Don’t? June 25, 2011

Who first said that you don’t know what you don’t know? Whoever it was, they were right! I’ve run into a few people over the last week in major positions at major companies (all real estate related) that didn’t know what was going on legislatively. Listening to some dodge bullets and be vague, some just flat-out admit that they don’t know what I’m talking about and some skirting the issue by changing the subject, was quite interesting. You can’t seek out the information you don’t know you need, right? So, how can I get upset with these power-people for not knowing what they should know (or at least, I feel they should know)? I can’t, really.

See, I’m abnormally in love with real estate legislation. If it weren’t such a public love, I’d be 2 steps away from cat-lady crazy. It’s exciting to me to get involved with what could change our industry (both for the worse and the better). I love when good bills go through and work pretty defiantly to stop bad bills. I even write to my mom’s representative in Texas and state my position as an out-of-stater but former resident… yes, I know… cat-lady crazy!

My biggest concern is that when money gets tight, the government can start getting pretty tricky and I don’t want them taking away anything that my clients deserve. I like to think of myself as a Legislative Liaison for anyone that wants my information. When I get calls asking my advice or what’s going on, I get so pumped! Why? Because knowledge is spreading. So, if you know that I’m talking about you in this post, utilize me. I’ll help you help those around you, whether it’s other agents, your clients or your representatives.

Also, I just read this NY Times article that was pretty interesting about the Tiger 21 group.

And, I try to watch the Think Big Work Small guys every day. They’re super entertaining, albeit a bit edgy. They’re mostly geared for Lenders but are trying to make themselves more REALTOR friendly. Side note, they’ll be at CVAR for a video marketing workshop on July 11th. I’d love to see you there!

Should you have any questions about anything you’ve read here or if you’re interested in any city in Southern California (particularly the San Gabriel Valley or Inland Empire), please feel free to call your favorite REALTOR Smile

And, I can always send you a FREE Market Analysis on your home, just ask.

 

More Real Housewives Hit, too May 18, 2011

Wouldn’t you die to live here?

Well, Lisa Vanderpump is over it. Her and her husband have listed their home for a a cool $29M… That’s right!

According to tax records, it boasts 8 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms in the exclusive 90210 zip code. In addition to the tennis court and pool you can see, it also boasts a wine cellar, pool room and opulent gardens. And, I know what you’re thinking… this doesn’t look nearly big enough! At a measly 15,480 SF and sitting on a 2 acre lot, you’ll have to make do.

None other than Kyle Richards’ husband, Mauricio Umansky, is the listing agent. They bought the home in 2004 for dainty price of $14M. Does it surprise anyone that like many other families in SoCal that mortgaged their homes to keep themselves afloat that Ken and Lisa have been pulling out money over the last few years?

Should you have any questions about anything you’ve read here, would like more details about Beverly Hills or if you’re interested in another city in Southern California (particularly the San Gabriel Valley or Inland Empire), please feel free to call your favorite REALTOR Smile

And, I can always send you a FREE Market Analysis on your home, just ask.

Some of this information was obtained through Yahoo! Real Estate.

 

Mark Zuckerberg loves REALTORS®! May 8, 2011

That might seem a bit extreme but whatever! I love helping first-time home-buyers (though I’ve yet to work with one in this price range)! I’m glad he invested in real estate and I love that he isn’t one of those commitment-phobic millionaires/billionaires that doesn’t want to commit to a home! High fives, Mr. Mark!

One thing that is miffing me in most of the stories about this is that they’re saying he’s so young (26 but almost 27) for a first-time home-buyer… um, check the stats! The median age for a home-buyer is 30 which means more than half of them are under 30! He’s the perfect age to buy his very 1st home!

What’s the home like? It’s 5,617 SF, sits on a lot just over 17K SF, 5 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, a banquet-size dining room, a music alcove and glassed-in porch (how awesome does that sound?!). The backyard has a saltwater pool (very cool!), a spa and an outdoor gazebo (with a fireplace). It’s located on Edgewood Drive in Crescent Park (a neighborhood). The property is surrounded by a wall and citrus trees (how CA!).

I know that seems big but it’s in a real homey kind of town (Palo Alto) and it looks really homey. He could’ve gone all palatial but I kind of dig this look on him. And, btw Mr. Mark, Happy early Birthday! He’ll be 27 on the 14th Winking smile

Should you have any questions about anything you’ve read here, would like more details about a certain area or if you’re interested in a city in the San Gabriel Valley or Inland Empire, please feel free to call your favorite REALTOR Smile

And, I can always send you a FREE Market Analysis on your home, just ask.

 

How’s the Market? April 27, 2011

In Glendora, La Verne, San Dimas and Covina?

We have 45 new homes on the market which scared 47 to reduce their price. 52 went into Escrow with 39 Closing Escrow. What do these numbers mean? That we’re basically servicing the listings we have with the Buyers on the market. But basically we’re not Closing as many as we could to level it out.

If you’re a Buyer, get more aggressive with your Offers. Don’t know how to do that? Give me a call.

If you’re a Seller, get more aggressive with your Marketing (or be one of the 47 that reduced their price). Not sure what you could do? Let’s chat.

Should you have any questions about anything you’ve read here, would like more details about a certain area of these cities or if you’re interested in another city in the San Gabriel Valley or Inland Empire, please feel free to call your favorite REALTOR :)

And, I can always send you a FREE Market Analysis on your home, just ask.